Tokyo - Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn said he had been "wrongly accused and unfairly detained" at a high-profile court hearing in Japan on Tuesday, his first appearance since his arrest in November rocked the business world.
Entering the court handcuffed and with a rope around his waist, the once-revered titan of the auto industry mounted a passionate defence against a string of financial misconduct allegations.
The 64-year-old appeared thinner - his family says he has lost up to 20 kilogrammes due to the rice-based diet in his Tokyo detention centre -and was greying at the temples. He appeared in a dark suit without a tie and wore plastic slippers.
"I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations," he told the Tokyo District Court, according to a statement prepared in advance and distributed by his representatives.
In a career spanning decades, during which he won praise for turning around the struggling Japanese carmaker, he said he had "always acted with integrity" and had never before been accused of any wrongdoing.